From the Editor:
It’s All the Way for Ray
Though my waistline tells a different story, I like to think of myself as a regular visitor to the Dawson Fitness Center on campus. One of the job perks is using our fitness facilities to work out the stresses of the day.
Most of the time I share the space with many of our student-athletes, who (hopefully) tolerate my presence. I’m sure they often wonder why I waste my time. Oh well. However, I do get a chance to even talk to a few of them from time to time. One of the things I’ve learned is I don’t call our 6-foot-9, 250-plus pound basketballer “Vinny.” It’s “Vince.” Yes sir, Mr. Schantz.
But most of the time, I silently observe our student-athletes go through the process of maximizing their potential. There was one in particular who caught my attention a couple of summers ago. He was a big guy, probably a football player, I thought. His name was Ray.
Ray would always be there when I walked in the door. Usually, he would be camped out at the squat rack, a place I carefully avoided. Just looking in that direction would give me a hernia. But there would be Ray, several 45-pound plates on each end of the bar, throwing it around like an Olympic power lifter. Six hundred pounds, you say? “Wow, he’s going to make a good offensive lineman,” I thought at the time.
I later found out that he was actually a thrower on the track and field team. And at the end of that summer, big Ray Carney was significantly smaller. And stronger. Much stronger. In fact, whatever fat he carried on his body was replaced by pure muscle. His transformation was so surprising that I didn’t even think it was the same person.
Then, I started hearing about Ray on the field. A self-described “scrub” on his own track team at nearby Blissfield High School, despite his inauspicious beginnings, he still promised Siena Heights coach Tim Bauer that he would one day win a national championship. That day may be coming real soon.
In fact, Ray finished third at the NAIA indoor championships in the 35-pound weight throw in February to earn All-American honors. However, he raised even more eyebrows when he turned in one of the best throws in the nation this season. In fact, he was ranked in the top 20 nationally (professional and amateur) and earned a berth to the U.S. Indoor Championships.
Get this: Ray turned down that opportunity so he could concentrate on his goal of winning a NAIA national title—and keeping his promise. That’s Saints Pride.
He still has hopes of accomplishing that goal during the outdoor season. Ray has one final chance this spring at outdoor nationals. After graduating with his multidisciplinary studies degree, he plans on enlisting in the U.S. Army and will continue his throwing career as part of the Army World 50 program. Who knows, Ray just may set his sights on the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil? From what I’ve seen over the past couple of years, I wouldn’t under-estimate him.
In trying to realize a promise he made to Siena Heights when he arrived on campus, Ray has ultimately fulfilled the promise in himself. Here’s hoping you go all the way, Ray!